The Best Dog Harnesses

If you have a dog, even if you have a fenced in card, you will most likely be taking him or her for walks at some point. In addition to a good leash, you will need to decide between just using a collar or putting your dog in a harness. There are several benefits to using a harness with your dog. Dog harnesses can give you better control of your dog, which can make a big difference especially if your dog is larger or particularly energetic and prone to pulling. They won't get tangled up in their leash if it is attached to a harness instead of a collar. A dog harness also distributes pressure more evenly with your dog, so you won't simply be pulling on his neck if he tries to make a run for it or pull ahead. Some dogs are especially good at escaping from their collars, and harnesses are more difficult for them to wriggle out of. Overall, they can make leash training easier, particularly with puppies.

Using a harness with your dog can take some getting used to. When choosing a harness, it's important to get one that is the correct size. Harnesses with a back-hook system are especially good for flat-faced breeds such as pugs due to their breathing difficulties, as a front hook harness may pull on their throats. Some harnesses offer both front and back attachment options. You want a harness that is easy to put on, though as with everything in life, practice makes perfect. Some harnesses are particularly designed to prevent pulling. Harnesses that wash easily are great for messy pets, and of course you want something durable. Your pet should be able to move comfortably and naturally in the harness.  Remember, it's best not to leave your pet in a harness 24/7 for safety reasons, even if your pet appears comfortable – you don't want the harness to get caught on something and injure your pet.


The Winner: Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Dog Walking Harness

The Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Dog Walking Harness is available ins sizes X-Small (5-10 pounds) up to X-Large (80+ pounds). Each harness has five different adjustment points so that you can get the right fit for your pooch. There is a halt D-ring attached to the chest plate to prevent pulling. If he pulls on his leash, he will effectively just get turned around. You can choose to hook the leash to the front or back of the harness depending on your needs and the dog's comfort. The chest pad reduces stress on the trachea and sternum to keep your pet safe and comfortable. This harness is machine washable but not suited for the dryer. It feels sturdy and durable. The harness is available in black. 


For Dogs Who Pull: Ruffwear Front Range Harness

The Ruffwear Front Range Harness is a great harness for dogs who pull. It comes in sizes that can fit dogs with as little as a 13-inch girth to as large as a 42-inch girth. There are two points of attachment for leashes, one on the back and one on the chest. The aluminum ring on the chest is made of reinforced webbing for increased control.  It easily slips of your dog's head and has side-release buckles. The chest and belly are padded for your dog's comfort. It is available in 6 different colors. This harness is not machine washable. Ruffwear offers a guarantee on their products, and you can add a 2- or 3-year accident protection plan when purchasing from Amazon.


Best Harness for Big Dogs: Expawlorer Big Dog Harness

For larger dogs, consider the Expawlorer Big Dog Harness. This dog harness fits dogs with breast girth's measuring from 20 inches (size medium) to 46 inches (size extra large).  People note using this harness with dogs weighing more than 100 pounds. A nylon handle on the back provides you with extra control, something that reviewers appreciated. A leash can be attached to the welded D-ring located on the back of this harness. It is easy to see how it slips onto your dog. We couldn’t get an answer as to whether it is machine washable so you may just want to hand wash this one.


Best Harness for Small Dogs: Puppia Soft Dog Harness

The Puppia Soft Dog Harness is a great harness specifically geared towards small dogs and puppies. It can fit dogs with as small las a 7.5-inch neck girl and 9-inch breast girth.  XXL sizes can fit larger dogs, however for them we recommend a sturdier and heavier harness. It was easy to figure out how to put on and there is adjustable chest belt to help you achieve a comfortable and secure fit. The quick release button helps you get your dog in or out of the harness quickly and easily. Keep in mind that this harness is not adjustable around the neck, and the neck has to be pulled over your dog's head to get this vest-style harness on. This was problematic for small dogs with larger heads. Otherwise, dogs seemed comfortable while wearing the harness. While it is machine washable, hand washing is nevertheless recommended by Puppia.


Bottom Line

Purchasing a dog harness is going to be highly personal to some extent. You need a harness that will fit your particular pup.  If your dog is especially prone to getting into messy situations, a machine washable harness could be a priority for you. Certain harnesses provide greater control over others when it comes to pulling, particularly with large, strong dogs. Overall, our favorite harness is the Kurgo Tru-Fit harness which comes with a great warranty, is machine washable, and has both front and back attachment points. We also really like the Ruffwear Front Range Harness, which is great both for outdoorsy adventures and everyday use. We recommend the Expawlorer Big Dog Harness for large dogs. The handle on the back makes staying in control of situations much easier. Finally, we like the Puppia Soft Dog Harness for small dogs and puppies.

Our Research on The Best Dog Harnesses

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